We'd booked into a cookery school to learn the art of Thai cooking with a lovely lady called Yui. Her course is called A Lot of Thai and I was tremendously excited about this.
We were met at McDonalds at Thapae Gate and I can assure you we didn't eat there. Instead we had a small breakfast of bananas in preparation for a BIG DAY of eating. I wore my elastic trousers in anticipation.
Yui is pretty well known in the area and used to run a restaurant with a friend before setting up her cookery school. She's even been visited by Gordon Ramsay! Today's menu plan was Pad Thai, green/red Thai curry, Tom Yum soup, spring rolls, chicken and cashew curry and mango with sticky rice. Mmm.
Thai food is great - the cooking itself is actually really quick, it's just the prep work that takes a little while to do. But I assure you it's worth every minute.
Yui was brilliant - really funny and really chatty with little anecdotes to share and lots of top cookery tips. I knew that prawns cooked very quickly, but apparently the easiest way to tell if they're overcooked is when they bend into an O shape, what you're looking for is a C shape and it takes only 5 seconds for them to go from raw to cooked. When cutting a chilli, if the seeds are white they won't be that hot, brown seeds mean a hotter chilli, it's also the inside membrane of the chilli which is the hottest part.
Don't say you don't learn anything here.
I'd say that I made the best Pad Thai (burnt garlic aside - if its black, it's done) and Mark made the best Tom Yum soup, I made the best chicken and cashew curry and Mark excelled at spring rolls. The rest of the time it was fairly even.
Part of our visit consisted of going to a local market and Yui showed us all the local delicacies. A lot of Thai people in the region don't have fridges, but instead to go market to purchase their daily meal. One particular vegetable had us all in chuckles as the Thai name for the vegetable sounded like a certain English swear word which I won't mention as my mum and mother-in-law read this blog. Ask Mark next time you see him. :)
It was an amazing day of amazing food and our host was incredible. It was well worth every penny and I plan to chuck out everything in my store cupboard and live on Pad Thai till the end of days.
It goes without saying we didn't have any dinner that night. In fact, I might not eat for a week.